The Green Kingdom – The North Wind and the Sun
I’ve followed Michael Cottone’s work as The Green Kingdom since I first got into Ambient music in and around 2008, when a series of small CD, CDr and netlabel material emerged on labels such as EKO and The Land Of. He went on to work with bigger labels in more recent years such as Own, Tench and Dronarivm and the sound has developed, whilst retaining its unmistakable signature.
What is fascinating about Michael’s work is its peaceful, rural nature which juxtaposes the Detroit Motor City surroundings in which he resides. Whether this be his early lo-fi guitar drones or his more acoustic rooted music, there is a feeling of contemporary Folk to this sound that connects itself to the natural world, as a longing for growth, greenery and progress is created against a backdrop of neighbouring abandoned buildings that are not even slightly apparent in Michael’s music.
A label we’ve come to follow in recent years and ever since launching Irregular Crates is Lost Tribe Sound, with quality and consistent output that is guaranteed. We have seen a particular surge from the label this year with yet more pristine output from regular contributor William Ryan Fritch as well as an excellent record from Seabuckthorn and an absolute belter by From The Mouth Of The Sun. The label have also put out a lot of vinyl too and it’s a joy to at last have some work by The Green Kingdom available on vinyl, albeit in a limited run of just 175 copies.
The North Wind and the Sun is an album with plenty of tracks to get stuck into, or short stories if you prefer. The record sees Cottone challenged to abandon some of his electronic production approaches in favour of acoustic sources. Cottone had not only accepted the challenge, but turned in something of astonishingly high quality and surely, his best work to date? Various forms of percussion and synth are joined by the unmistakable guitar loops of The Green Kingdom and various other acoustic instruments. Every track is top drawer meaning the album will likely strike an instant chord with anyone who cares to listen; you’ll find yourself hitting play, allowing each exquisite track to pass in sequence without feeling the need to skip anything. By the time ‘From The Ashes of Industry‘ is playing, you’ll be utterly mesmerised and know for certain that you own a record that’s likely to be a highlight in your collection for a lifetime.